Yesterday the Royals demoted Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura to Triple-A and replaced him in the rotation with Jason Vargas, who was activated from the disabled list.
Vargas then exited last night’s start with an elbow injury, which the Royals now say is a torn ulnar collateral ligament (also known as the Tommy John surgery injury). So they’ve recalled Ventura from Triple-A, where he presumably hadn’t actually had a chance to arrive yet.
Last offseason Vargas signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Royals as a free agent and he’s pitched about as well as could have been expected with a 3.76 ERA in 39 starts, but Tommy John surgery could knock him out of action until 2017.
It seems all but guaranteed that the Royals will be acquiring some level of rotation help between now and the July 31 trade deadline, with some speculation that they could be looking to make a big, top-of-the-rotation splash.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.